Organics Losing; Manufacturers Winning: Time to Make Calls-Get Active!

PROMOTING ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR FAMILY-SCALE FARMING
NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE
NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE
JULY 21, 2018 Cornucopia on Facebook Cornucopia on Twitter Cornucopia on Youtube Cornucopia on LinkedIn Cornucopia on Pinterest Donate

USDA Secretary to Organic Farmers: Get the Hell Out!

Sec. Perdue
Source: USDA

Consumers trust that organic farmers grow crops and raise livestock according to rules designed to improve soil health, exclude synthetic pesticides, ensure the dignity and well-being of animals, safeguard the environment, and provide nourishing food for our families. The Trump administration has brought its ethos of deregulation to organic agriculture, an industry already plagued by lack of enforcement.

The Secretary of Agriculture ignored his own advisory panel’s recommendation to remove the harmful additive carrageenan from organic use and jettisoned several pending organic rules, including the outdoor access rule for livestock. In response to concerns about Big Ag dominating organics, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue responded, “If you believe in socialism, you probably ought to export your operation somewhere.”

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Trader Joe’s to Change Misleading Images on Cage-Free Eggs

Source: Naim Alel

Earlier this year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against Trader Joe’s for using misleading images of chickens roaming freely in a barnyard on their cartons of cage-free eggs. In reality, these chickens spend their entire lives stuffed into industrial hen houses. Trader Joe’s agreed in their settlement to remove the images from packaging. Some egg labeling claims are meaningful to shoppers, and some of them are nothing more than marketing hype. To help dispel confusion, Cornucopia recently published a decoder for egg labels. We recommend eating local, certified organic eggs that are highly rated on our Organic Egg Scorecard.
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Organic Industry Watchdog Response to USDA on Import Fraud

In 2017 The Washington Post collaborated with The Cornucopia Institute and OFARM to expose large-scale fraud in the importation of organic feed grains. Cornucopia first rang the alarm on “organic” soybean imports back in 2009. In June, we released a comprehensive white paper on fraudulent Turkish imports. With evidence mounting, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) conducted a webinar on July 17 to gather public input on the issue.

The NOP asked participants to consider and comment on 11 weighty and complex questions without advance notice of the scope of questions presented and with limited time to respond. This hastily arranged cyber “meeting” was designed to circumvent full public hearings and comments in front of the National Organic Standards Board. The NOSB, created by law to make recommendations on rules such as this, appears to have been illegally bypassed. You can protect your family from fraudulent organics. Cornucopia is about to release a buyer’s guide to help you find organic dairy, eggs, and poultry brands that source feed exclusively from North American farms.

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U.S. Delegation Puts Infant Formula Manufacturers Interests Ahead of Children’s Health

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At the UN World Health Assembly, U.S. delegates sought to stop a resolution encouraging breastfeeding, going so far as to threaten the resolution’s sponsor, Ecuador, with punitive action. Despite this pushback, the international body passed the resolution. It appears that U.S. delegates acted on behalf of infant formula interests—and it would not be the first time. Algae-based DHA oil was used in organic infant formula before it was approved for use in organics.

Rather than remove the illegal products from the marketplace, in 2011 the National Organic Standards Board approved DHA in a corrupt process. However, the DHA used in infant formula is hexane-extracted, a process clearly disallowed in the organic standards. As a favor to the industry, this ingredient has been left in political limbo and remains in organic formula.

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Congress Needs Your Continued Input on the Farm Bill

Source: RawPixel

The two farm bill drafts produced and passed in the House and Senate have gone to a conference committee (a smaller group of Senators and Representatives charged with reconciling the two separate bills). The House and Senate will then each vote on the proposed legislation that comes out of the committee. Please contact your Senators and Representatives, even if you already have, to express your support for small organic farms, a strong National Organic Standards Board, organic research programs, fraudulent organic imports tracking, and conservation programs. Visit our website for talking points and more information on how to contact your Member(s) of Congress.
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